A.J. Gossip – You are flustered and uneasy…

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“You are flustered and uneasy.  Feel for the hand of God your Father, and be sure that He is your Father, thinking you with a father’s care, and you will find a hand does close on yours.  Or you are disconcerted that so little comes of all your spiritual strivings.  Turn to the Cross again, and, looking up at it, really take in that it is not upon your own poor efforts and weak will but upon God’s eternal plans and dearest wish you lean and that will rally you.  Or you are baffled and beaten, and it seems no use trying further.  Sink your tired, fretted mind deep down into the infinite deeps of God’s unthinkable majesty and patience and … so you will feel strong walls about you, will find yourself in a cool, sheltered place with your breath come again; better than that, will, like Paul, fling yourself unafraid once more into the fight, knowing that He that is with you is more than all they that can be against you; that through Him you can do all things…”

A.J. Gossip – The Galilean Accent, pg. 60

Barth – The Community & Service

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“The community does not speak with words alone. It speaks by the very fact of its existence in the world; by its characteristic attitude toward world problems; and, moreover and especially, by its silent service to all the handicapped, weak, and needy of the world. It speaks, finally, by the simple fact that it prays for the world. It does all this because this is the purpose of its summons by the Word of God. It cannot avoid doing these things, since it believes….”

Karl Barth (1886-1968), Evangelical Theology: An Introduction, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1979, p. 38

The seriousness of vocation…

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“Jonah teaches us that this storm, whose physical causes are the same as those of all other storms, is there only for Jonah and because of Jonah. It has other effects. It sweeps the coasts, disperses fish, causes ships to founder. But its purpose is to smash inflexible Jonah. Thus the elements and many men, especially the sailors, are engaged in the adventure of Jonah with him and because of him. One sees here the weight and seriousness of vocation. God thinks his choice is so important, and takes the one elected so seriously, that he brings nature into play to see that this man fulfills his vocation….”

Jacques Ellul (1912-1994), The Judgment of Jonah, tr. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1971, p. 25

Sovereignty, Free Will, and Jonah

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“In reality (spiritual reality) it is much too simple to think that God offers his grace to man and man accepts or refuses. When God has graciously chosen a man his grace continues even though the man does not do what God has decided. On the other hand, this persistence of election… does not entail a negation of man’s will. God pursues this man, conducts him through his whole life, in order to bring about the consent of this man’s will to what God has decided.”

… Jacques Ellul (1912-1994), The Judgment of Jonah, tr. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1971, p. 24

Troubled souls are always safe…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inspired by our time in Jonah yesterday…

“I can tell you for an eternal truth that troubled souls are always safe. It is the untroubled that are in danger. Trouble in itself is always a claim on love, and God is love. He must deny Himself if He does not come to help the helpless. It is the prisoners, and the blind, and the leper, and the possessed, and the hungry, and the tempest-tossed, who are His special care. Therefore, if you are lost and sick and bound, you are just in the place where He can meet you. Blessed are the mourners. They shall be comforted.”

… Andrew Jukes (1815-1901), [1889], Letters of Andrew Jukes, London: Longman, Green, and Company, 1903, [1889], p. 155